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Astute case study

By Tim Larkin
Published in Case Studies
November 29, 2021
3 min read
Astute case study

“Our LMS solution was not user friendly or very intuitive to use. It did not display the CPD hours completed by an advisor at any given point in time consequently CPD monitoring became a cumbersome and time-consuming process requiring the use of manual spreadsheets.” -Nikhil Ghate, Quality Assurance Manager

Comments such as these are incredibly common from all those business owners or compliance officers managing the obligations of a licensed financial advice provider. The introduction of FSLAA has only increased compliance, recording, and reporting obligations. Without the right systems and processes in place, the cost of meeting these compliance obligations can become a drain on your business. Done right, they can become a tool for business improvement.

This case study shows the positive impact of implementing TeamsPlus: Financial Services on Astute, its compliance team, and as importantly, on all its members. For all users, TeamsPlus freed up time, improved engagement and made Astute a more attractive organisation for new members.

“If I have to sum up, using one word, the contribution of TeamsPlus to Astute I would say ‘Empowerment’. We are delighted to empower our advisers to take charge of their personal and professional development in a seamless manner, using TeamsPlus, and have visibility of their progress together with them. In a licensing environment it is all about trust and teamwork and TeamsPlus is helping us exactly achieve this.” -Sarah Johnston, CEO

Astute Financial Management is a Financial Advice Provider (FAP) providing over 150 financial advisors with access to contracts with the major retail banks and other lenders enabling the Advisors to provide the best mortgage advice and options to their clients. The advisors operating under Astute’s FAP License include Mortgage Express, Mortgage Supply, Enable.me and independent mortgage advisors.

With the advisors operating under Astute’s FAP License, Astute has significant legislative obligations to comply with.


Astute had followed a typical approach for a medium sized business. Policies and procedures were stored in a files. Individuals looked after their own CPD hours, recording them on spreadsheets and forwarding emails to the compliance officer as evidence of external courses. Internal learning was managed through an enterprise level learning management system (LMS). This required a specialist employee, making it both time consuming and expensive to deploy. Complaints and incident registers were also maintained on more spreadsheets with manual reconciliation or tracking to ensure the necessary actions were followed through. Finally, personal development plans formed yet another set of emails and spreadsheets between managers, advisors and the quality assurance team.

The net result was a restrictive, time consuming and costly solution using multiple systems.

Nikhil Ghate, Astute’s Quality Assurance Manager, found himself spending the majority of his time attending to compiling information for compliance and meeting reporting obligations. This impacted on the amount of time that could be spent on providing proactive support, developing advisor skill sets and improving outcomes for end customers.

In addition to these factors, the ongoing qualifications under the new regulatory regime meant that anyone needing new qualifications had to go to third parties with more log ins and provide evidence of progress back to Astute.


TeamsPlus: Financial Services provides a single ecosystem that deals with all of these in an environment that focusses on each advisor’s needs with reporting that simplifies the work of the quality assurance team


TeamsPlus: Financial Services has resulted and improvements across all of these fields. TeamsPlus: Financial Services is a single platform with an ecosystem for learning management, CPD, qualifications, and registers, onboarding, offboarding, policies and procedures and professional development.

Getting started is easy and low cost

Implementing the change for Astute was as simple as providing a list of names and email addresses together with the corporate structure. When it came to CPD, the existing and extensive CPD spreadsheet was simply uploaded as validated CPD records into TeamsPlus.

TeamsPlus also listened carefully to the requirements for the various registers that Astute needed. This resulted in a consultation process to develop new compliance reports that met not only Astute’s needs but those of the wider financial services community.

The next step is the much-anticipated September release of integration with LearnPlus, a category 1 PTE that will allow advisors to do their Level 5 Certificate in Financial Services on the same platform.


TeamsPlus: Financial Services is already the leading compliance platform in NZ for the Financial Advice Providers and is continuing to develop and release additional functionality that will further simplify compliance.

If you think your business could benefit from any part of TeamsPlus: Financial Services, then the solution to your problems is only a phone call away.

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Tim Larkin

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